January 29, 2014

Can't find me? Find out where I'm blogging at now!

For anyone who is looking at this blog, you'll see I haven't' posted in a months. 
I had to take a step back from my personal blog as real life got busy and complicated and I needed to focus on my home life! After some time passed, I realized how much I missed writing and blogging, but too much time had passed here at Life With The Stevens and I since I didn't renew my blog domain, it felt odd to try to start over. So, I contacted some friends with established blogs who happened to be looking for part time help and they invited me to jump back in the blogging world *albeit part time!*
SO, if you need to get in touch with me, you still can at the same email address listed in the contact tab-
Or, you can find me working with:
 Rachel at YellowTennessee.com
Alison at BeingAlison.com
So I'm not really MIA, just spreading the good word elsewhere :D

October 17, 2013

Enjoying life!

If you were/are a Facebook fan, you saw my post about taking a break from blogging. I still am ;) But I wanted to stop by and post about WHY I chose to take a break, and what I've been up to!

Life has been super busy for us. We bought a new house this summer and have enjoyed making it our own. This house is my dream house and every day I'm just so thankful that we get to live here! The kids are loving school-my oldest is rocking 1st grade, he is doing so well. My youngest is enjoying preschool, he loves his new friends!
Something else new going on in our house is that we got a dog!! We adopted a dog from our local Humane Society, her name is Molly, and she is the sweetest dog I've ever met! My husband has been asking for years to get a dog and finally I caved and am so glad I did!
Speaking of my husband, we just celebrated 10 years of marriage!! SO crazy to think we've been married this long already. We've been together since high school and got married our sophomore year in college. There have been plenty of ups and downs but we are in a great place right now and I couldn't be more grateful for all life has handed us. 

So the Blog...
I just woke up one day and decided it was time to take it easy. I've been so fortunate to do a lot of great things in the blogging community, I've had wonderful opportunities to work with amazing companies and people and I'm incredibly grateful for all of it. But I realized that my blog work was taking over my life. I sat on the computer all day, seemingly ignoring the household. And while it was rewarding in a sense, it was starting to depress me! That probably doesn't make sense. But I didn't want my home and my family to suffer any more so my blog had to take a back seat to real life. I miss writing and putting my skills to good use but taking this break has been the best thing for me. 

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful fall weather we are having! I know I am!

July 29, 2013

Shark Week is coming!! Check out Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark from Discovery Channel!

Shark week is quickly approaching! Tune in August 4th to get your fill of all things shark!
We are big Shark week fans in the Stevens house, our kids especially! We have several Shark Week episodes from the previous years on DVR and just as many books!
One book we can't wait to dive into is Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark from The Discovery Channel! It's a new release as of this summer and it's fantastic! This book includes 192 pages of more than 400 photos of sharks and all 498 known species of sharks!! The pictures are full color and amazing and the reading is fun and educational!

Here is a press release with more information:

Sink Your Teeth Into Sharkopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Shark, The Latest from Discovery Communications and Time Home Entertainment
(New York, NY) July 1, 2013—TIME Home Entertainment, Inc has teamed up with Discovery Channel to create SharkopediaThe Complete Guide to Everything Shark—a book full of captivating photos and the coolest facts about the world’s most astonishing and feared creatures. Sharkopedia (Time Home Entertainment, Inc.; $19.95 US) is available at www.sharkopedia.com and wherever books are sold.
The book also includes an introduction and special contributions from shark expert and marine biologist Andy Dehart, a regular contributor to Discovery’s popular week-long TV event, Shark Week.
This 192 page full-color book includes over 400 vivid photos and offers a wealth of information about the nearly 500 species of sharksSharkopedia is the ultimate comprehensive resource for shark fans of all ages and explains everything there is to know about these amazing underwater predators.  Its chapters dive into areas such as:
·         Shark Anatomy and Senses –Explore shark parts, skin, muscles, fins, gills, hearing, taste and touch.
·         Feeding Habits – What’s the name of the shark that takes small, cookie shaped bites out of its prey?
·         Record Breakers – Which shark can live over 200 years?
·         Shark Behavior – Do sharks sleep?
·         Shark Conservation – Rather than being afraid of sharks, people should be afraid for sharks, as their populations are seriously threatened. Scientists, legislators and advocates—people who love sharks—are working to protect sharks in many ways.
In addition, Sharkopedia is filled with information about some of the most infamous sharks, including the Great White, Bull and Tiger. Learn about the two fastest-swimming sharks, how some sharks get their teeth cleaned, and why tiger sharks are known as “garbage guts.” Readers will get a close-up look at what makes sharks the most fearsome hunters in the ocean, read about the Great White “Ring of Death,” and much more.
“New advances in technology have allowed scientists to learn a great deal about sharks and one thing is abundantly clear – sharks are not the mindless monsters of the deep that many thought them to be,” said Dehart. “Whether you are fascinated or frightened by sharksSharkopedia showcases these amazing animals and allows us to captivate audiences year round outside of the water.”
Disclaimer: I received a book for review, no other compensation was given. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.

July 26, 2013

Robeez Sample Sale going on Now!!!

Robeez, the original soft-soled shoes for babies and toddlers, is hosting an online sample sale through August 31st 2013. Customers can enjoy a 25% discount on full price merchandise by entering the coupon code: RobeezMom

Expiration:  August 31, 2013
Coupon good in US and Canada with Free Shipping on orders of $50 or more (prior to discount).

I had Robeez shoes with both boys, I was able to use a pair I bought for my oldest with my youngest, they held up so well! I can honestly say I would recommend this brand above any other soft sole shoes, I'm taking advantage of this sale for my future niece or nephew due next year!

Disclaimer: I was sent this information and I chose to post. Please see my disclosure policy for more information on my blogging practices.

July 9, 2013

Still kickin'!

Hey all! If you don't follow my FB or Twitter, then you may not know that we are in the process of moving...
We moved back to MI and decided to rent while our house in Ohio sold and after a year it finally did! So we started looking at homes in Michigan. We started back in February, and it has been such a long process. You see, the market is great in this area...if you are a seller! Which is fantastic considering how bad it is in some areas. We bid on three houses and lost out to bids coming in just a few hours before us. We FINALLY found a house and it really feels like it is meant to be ours so I believe that everything happened the way it did for a reason. This house is so perfect for us. The house was on the market for 3 HOURS before we put in our offer as our realtor told us the price and location and house were in hot demand and if we wanted it we needed to act fast! Luckily we got it. But we are one of those people who needed a bank loan for the house since we don't have hundreds of dollars in cash lying around ;) Unfortunately our loan officer was not working with us and ended up getting in trouble while working our loan so closing has been delayed but we are finally on the move.
That Looooong winded explanation is to hopefully enough to excuse my lack of posting as it has been a bit stressful in the Stevens house-and with packing and moving, I'll hope you will stick around and help me get back on track in the next month!
Happy Summer!!

Caught them being nice on our way to see Despicable Me 2!

June 16, 2013

Cascade Platinum is here to make your life easier!

Let's face it-no one really likes doing the dishes. If you do, please state your name so I can contact you to come to my house ;)
So why not make this mundane chore a little less stressful by adding Cascade Platinum pacs to your routine!! 
Why are Cascade Platinum pacs better? These little power packing pacs deliver the most effective clean available from Cascade that not only make your dishes sparkle, but the keep your dishwasher clean too!
We have to deal with hard water in our house, and our dishwasher suffers greatly from it as well as our dishes. Sometimes I think-if all that gunk is stuck to the dishwasher, than it's probably sticking to my plates too-yuck! 
We put the Cascade Platinum pacs to the test-we went away for a few days and left some dishes in the sink so they would be extra hard to wash. Lo and behold they came out sparkling. I really was expecting to have to let the pans soak for a while like I normally do to give our current/former dishwasher soap a fighting chance and I was so excited that I didn't have to have stinky dishes clogging my sink space!

Cascade is also doing amazing things with Gail Simmons!
Now, more than ever, people eat with their eyes, and the evidence is all over sites like Facebook and Instagram. With that in mind, Top Chef judge and editor of Food+Wine magazine, Gail Simmons ,has partnered with Cascade to discuss why presentation is just as important as preparation. 

• From prep to plating: It’s more than just a great-­‐tasting recipe, but also perfect presentation. Sparkling dishes, shining flat ware and spot-­‐free glasses truly let you put your best food forward with culinary creations that pop!
• Gail recommends impressing with a Platinum Presentation: “The easiest recipes pop with unexpected, gourmet presentations. Drizzle bright sauces on sparkling white plates or layer desserts in crystal-­‐clean glassware. Keep your presentation sparkling with Cascade Platinum, which keeps dishes perfect for anytime entertaining and impromptu guests.” Learn more about Cascade’s partnership with Gail Simmons by viewing videos available on the Link to the Cascade Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/10Y8RQQ and Cascade YouTube page: http://bit.ly/124rLfa

Cascade also has an amazing contest going on RIGHT NOW!
The Cascade “My Platinum” contest is a four week Instagram contest encouraging fans to upload photos related to the weekly contest themes. Show off how sparkly Cascade makes all your pots, pan and plates!
  • Visit the #MyPlatinum Instagram contest page for information on how to enter and submit images:
  • Each week, two contestants will be selected to receive a brand new Whirlpool dishwasher. Additionally, one lucky grand prize winner will receive a Platinum kitchen makeover!
  • To win, users have to both register and upload a photo with the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag @MyCascade. Participants that have not registered will be disqualified from winning.
  • Each week will have a 6-day entry period where Instagram users can enter the contest with their #MyPlatinum Photo. Cascade will choose two weekly winners and one final grand prize winner after the entry period has ended. Please be sure to include both the #MyPlatinum hashtag and tag @MyCascade in your entries to the contest!
    • Week 1: My Platinum Plate (Entry Period: 6/3-6/9)
      Show us your best dish styled from the sparkling plate up!
    • Week 2: My Platinum Bite (Entry Period: 6/10-6/16)
      Show us your best bite and most creative use of sparkling silverware!
    • Week 3: My Platinum Clink (Entry: 6/17-6/23)
      Show us how you serve up creative concoctions in sparkling glasses. Cheers!
    • Week 4: My Platinum Table (Entry Period: 6/24-6/30)
      Show us your sparkling tablescape for your most special celebrations!
    • Grand Prize Winner (Entry: 6/3-6/30)

Check out Cascade Platinum pacs in a store near you, you won't be disappointed-you're dishwasher will thank you and you will love having the cleanest dishes possible set out for dinner!

Disclosure:“I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Cascade. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

June 4, 2013

Moving this summer? Here are some tips to keep your identity safe during a move!

With our impending move approaching, I worry about things like keeping my personal files safely guarded as they switch many hands on the way to the new house-here is a great guest post with ideas on how to protect yourself and your family during a move!

With half of all moves in the United States taking place between Memorial Day and Labor Day, that unfortunately also means an increase in identity theft during the summer months as moving creates ample opportunity for criminals to take advantage.

Moving can be an overwhelming experience that creates opportunities for enterprising criminals. Make sure to protect your identity amidst the shuffle by following these smart steps from Experian's ProtectMyID (www.protectmyid.com)
  • Change your address with all the companies, financial institutions, magazines, and other organizations that regularly send you mail. Identity theft is often carried out by stealing mail. The people who move into your old residence won’t necessarily steal your identity, but they will most likely throw mail that isn’t theirs, and they won’t necessarily take the care to shred it as you would. Prior to your move, change your mailing address through the United States Postal Service. You can even choose the date you want the change to take effect, so feel free to do this task early and cross it off your list.
  • Shed and shred. Moving creates a good opportunity to get rid of things you no longer need, including old documents. But don’t just throw them away; shred sensitive personal documents you don’t need to keep.
  • Keep physical tabs on your identity. Regardless of whether you move yourself or use a moving company, keep your important documents with you in a secured place. When it comes to your identity, a filing cabinet in a trailer isn’t secure enough.
  • Always keep the security of your identity in mind. Hire only a reputable moving company. After all, you are inviting them into your home. And, if your movers are going to pack your belongings for you, secure your important documents prior to their arrival.
  • Manage your technology inventory closely. Many households now include multiple computers, mobile phones, tablets, and other devices storing sensitive information. It would be easy for one to be inadvertently misplaced, or purposely stolen. Make sure your devices are securely packed in unmarked packaging, and that they are locked with strong passwords.
 Disclosure: This is a guest post.

May 24, 2013

Staples makes your life easier while helping the environment!

Staples is known for being the go-to place for office supplies, but did you know they now carry an Eco-friendly line of products? Introducing Sustainable Earth by Staples! These products Debuted last month around Earth Day and are made with renewable resources, recycled materials, and/or are third-party tested to validate their environmental attributes *say that three times fast ;)*
These products are high quality. I have been using these products almost daily for the past few weeks and I can't get over the fact that they are made from recycled material! I like that a big name company like Staples is taking the time to be more environmentally aware, I think it will encourage other companies to follow suit. 
There are several products in the Sustainable Earth line that I was able to review: Calculator, stapler, computer printer paper, notebooks, folders, clip board, and envelopes! Staples also has green cleaning products, computer products, furniture and so much more!The products are very reasonably priced and can be found at your local Staples store or at Staples.com!

Disclaimer: I rec'd products for review, no other compensation was given.